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Musical Date Night: Keys On Main Piano Bar

Posted by on Jul 24, 2018 in Cool Places, Dining, Entertainment, Music | 0 comments

We visited as a guest of the venue There is something that Orange County has been missing for many years, and that is a nice and clean piano bar. Couples love to go out to watch live music, and we were thrilled to learn that a new piano bar recently opened at The Triangle in Costa Mesa. Once learning about the new piano bar opening, we planned a night out to check out the new date night hot spot. The piano bar is located right on the corner of Th Triangle in Costa Mesa. They checked our ID at the door, and we entered the snazzy location. There is the main bar along one wall, multiple tables in the center of the piano bar and reserved group seating along the other wall. Since we were visiting with other couples,...

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Get a Sugar Rush at Candytopia in Santa Monica

Posted by on Jul 9, 2018 in Cool Places, Featured | 0 comments

We visited as a guest of the venue Let’s face it…we’re all a little obsessed with social media and getting the perfect photo. When it comes to Instagram, Snapchat, or Facebook photos everyone wants them to be perfect. And what better place to take excellent pictures than a place solely meant for just that! Located in Santa Monica, Candytopia is one of the best picture museums I have ever visited. One thing that made this museum so much fun is that its the whole theme was candy. It was literally my two favorite things in the world, taking pictures, and candy. When my mom told me we were going to be doing this during our weekend trip to Santa Monica I immediately picked out my favorite outfits and got ready for the exciting photo opportunities there would be during...

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Snow Tubing at Mt Baldy

Posted by on Jan 18, 2018 in Cool Places, Family, Featured, Kia, Travel | 0 comments

Vehicle provided by Kia One of my kid’s favorite things to do is go skiing! Unfortunately, we haven’t been lucky enough to get much snow in our local mountains, so during the holiday break, I took my kids to Mt Baldy for the first time to check out their snow tubing. Mt Baldy is a true hidden gem for those who like snow. It is much closer than Lake Arrowhead or Big Bear and is a great skiing facility. The area had not gotten much snow the weekend that we visited, so there was not any snow as we drove up the mountain, but once we got off the chairlift, the ski resort had created a winter wonderland. When there is snow in the area, the ski resort offers skiing, snowboard, and tubing for families to enjoy. The day...

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Epic Family Night Out at the Hollywood Bowl

Posted by on Nov 14, 2017 in Cool Places, Entertainment, Family, Film, Music | 0 comments

We visited as a guest of the venue One of my parent’s favorite things to do when I was a child was to have a date night at the Hollywood Bowl. I always thought that my husband and I would follow in their footsteps, but life gets busy when raising three children, and it finally worked out with our schedule to make our first visit to the Hollywood Bowl this past weekend. While I thought my first visit to the Hollywood Bowl would be a date night, we ended up bringing the kids for an unforgettable night under the stars for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. We got box tickets (which I highly recommend when coming with young children). We left early and planned to arrive right when the gates opened, which again, I recommend doing when bringing your...

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Downtown Disney Day Trip with OC Bus

Posted by on Nov 7, 2017 in Cool Places, Disney, Featured, Kia, Theme Parks | 2 comments

Sponsored Ever since my two teenagers started riding the OC Bus to school at the Orange County School of the Arts (OCSA), they keep telling me how much fun the bus is to ride. When trying to plan something fun and unique to do with the kids, I decided to take them on a Downtown Disney day trip with OC Bus. I had already known that their school bus #83 goes from Laguna Hills to Disneyland without having to change bus lines, so I knew that it would be a fun and seamless adventure. We arrived at the Laguna Hills Transportation Center on a Sunday morning, I parked our Kia Sorento in the parking lot, and we waited for the #83 bus to arrive. Surprisingly, it only took a few minutes before the bus arrived. There are two ways...

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Edward Scissorhands House in San Diego

Posted by on Jun 19, 2017 in Autos, Cool Places, Kia, San Diego, Travel | 0 comments

I visited San Diego as a guest of Kia While in San Diego learning about Kia’s ecoDynamics technology, I was given the opportunity to drive a beautiful 2017 Kia Soul EV around town. I got to explore the town with one of my best friends who shares a love for discovering unique and funky places. After I took her to see the skeleton house in San Diego, she then surprised me by bringing me to the Edward Scissorhands House (Harper’s Topiary Garden). We rocked out to our favorite tunes in the hip 2017 Kia Soul EV and felt the cool ocean breezes flowing in from the sunroof. We drove to one of the highest points of downtown San Diego, and there it was – one of the coolest front yards I have ever seen. The house sits on top...

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Aliso Summit Fairy Hiking Trail

Posted by on Jun 4, 2017 in Aliso Viejo, Cool Places, Featured, Hiking Trails, Parks | 11 comments

CLOSED AS OF AUGUST 14TH “Fairy Lily’s broken wing has now completely healed and Queen Lily and the other fairies that have been living along the Aliso Summit Trail have headed back to their homes in Ireland. All the fairies are very sad to leave their beautiful homes here in Orange County, but wanted everyone to know that they will fondly remember the very special time they had living here. They will cherish the friendships, the trinkets/rocks/gifts, as well as the hand written notes and drawings from all their human friends who have visited them. For those of you that missed visiting the fairies, Fairy Lily wants to remind you that you can always build your own fairy home in your home or yard, so that the fairies will be able to visit and surround you with unlimited possibilities,...

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Fun and Funky Art at Tio’s Tacos

Posted by on Jun 1, 2017 in Autos, Cool Places, Dining, Kia | 0 comments

Vehicle provided by Kia I’ve seen pictures of the funky artwork at Tio’s Tacos on Instagram for many years. When planning a day trip to visit the California Citrus State Historic Park with my daughter in Riverside, I made sure to add to our itinerary a stop at Tito’s Tacos for lunch. Many of my friends who have been to Tio’s recommended that we do not go during the lunch or dinner rush. It is a popular place, and there is often a line that wraps around the building to order food. Thanks to my friend’s recommendations, we arrived around two o’clock, and practically had the place all to ourselves. The restaurant is an Instagrammers dream! I parked our Kia Sorento right under a giant skeleton sculpture riding a bicycle, and then we spent over an hour walking around....

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Explore Randsburg Ghost Town

Posted by on May 31, 2017 in Autos, Cool Places, Kia | 0 comments

Vehicle provided by Kia My favorite thing to do with my kids is to explore hidden gems and quirky places. I am ‘that mom’ who will drive thirty minutes out of our way just to see the world’s largest buckle. I have found that exploring quirky and fun places with my kids have made for some unforgettable memories that we love to reminisce about from time to time. For Mother’s Day, I wanted to go hiking with my family at Red Rock Canyon California State Park. When doing some research on how to find the State Park, I realized that Randsburg Ghost Town was on our route, and I immediately got excited about bringing the kids to see a real ghost town. We spent the morning hiking around Red Rock Canyon California State Park, and then put Randsburg Ghost...

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Exploring Irvine with Pedego Electric Bikes

Posted by on May 18, 2017 in Biking Trails, Cool Places, Family, Featured, Fitness, Parks | 0 comments

We went on a tour as a guest of the venue Growing up in Newport Beach, bike riding was one of my favorite things to do on the weekends. Then I grew up, got married, and moved to South Orange County where biking riding is nearly impossible with a massive hill around every corner. I often miss the days of riding my bike to a restaurant for lunch or to the store to pick-up a couple of groceries. A couple of my friends had been posting pictures of their families going on bike rides every weekend around Orange County, and when I asked one of my friends how she stays in such great shape to tackle riding a bike up and down the South OC hills, she told me that they have been riding Pedego electric bikes. I was...

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Cowabunga in Dana Point

Posted by on Sep 22, 2016 in Cool Places | 0 comments

Looking for a fun FREE way to entertain your kids?  With summer coming to an end and my summer bucket list drying up, I thought it be fun for my kids to get out and search for something more than a Pokémon. I had heard that Dana Yarger, a Dana Point resident and an ambassador to the Elephant Parade from a few years back, had begun looking for a new project to bring to the city. This time the project was in the shape of cows known as Cowabunga. The statues will be auctioned off at the end of the summer with proceeds going to Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times. The camp is a program of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern California which hosts children diagnosed with cancer and their families.  My kids and I started at 9 in...

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Escape Bus Epic Adventure

Posted by on Sep 13, 2016 in Cool Places, Entertainment, Theatre | 0 comments

We visited as a guest of the venue My kids have been begging me to let them do an “escape” experience. They have heard all of their friends talking about the different escape experiences around OC, but when I researched them, they all seemed the same. That was until I learned about a new escape experience called the Escape Bus. I anxiously awaited the announcement of their first stop, and when it was going to be just a couple of blocks away from my son’s school in Santa Ana, I made reservations right away. The bus is a traveling escape room experience, so you need to check their website to find out where is going to be their next stop. When we arrived, the yellow school bus was parked on the street in front of the 4th Street Market...

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Best Places for Summer Treats in OC

Posted by on Jul 31, 2016 in Cool Places, Dining, Family, Holiday, Summer | 1 comment

One of the best parts about summer is taking the kids for refreshing sweet treats. From ice cream to cookies to milk tea, these are some of the best places to take the kids for summer treats in Orange County. Honey & Butter Irvine Spectrum Center 633 Spectrum Center Dr Irvine, CA 92618 Honey & Butter has been our favorite place for summer treats this year. They not only have a super cute store, but they also make the most adorable themed macarons. We’ve had a Winnie-the-Pooh macaron and Pokemon macaron paired with homemade ice cream. I recommend coming early for their themed macaron’s because they are selling out fast – especially during the summer. Dad’s Donuts 318 Marine Ave Newport Beach, CA 92662 Nothing tastes more like summer than a frozen banana or Balboa bar from Dad’s Donuts....

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Five Best SoCal Drive-In Theaters

Posted by on Jul 29, 2016 in Cool Places, Family, Featured, Summer | 0 comments

Some of my favorite childhood memories were watching the latest summer blockbuster hit out of the back of my parent’s station wagon at the drive-in theater on Beach Boulevard. Years later, that was the last drive-in in Orange County to close, but many remained open in Southern California for us to relive the same memories with our children. A couple are not too far outside of Orange County, and it makes for a great end of summer family night out. Have fun creating movie memories at one of these SoCal Drive-in Theaters. Mission Tiki missiontiki.com 10798 Ramona Ave Montclair, CA 91763 Families can see two movies back-to-back at Mission Tiki. They are open seven days a week, and we recommend arriving early on weekends (this is a popular location). Adults are $9, and kids ages 5-9 are $1. If...

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OC Waterfall Hikes

Posted by on Jul 14, 2016 in Cool Places, Family, Hiking Trails | 2 comments

There are two things that I love in life – waterfalls and sea caves. There is nothing better than getting to splash water on your face from a waterfall after a summer hike. When planning a summer hike with your family, surprise them with a beautiful waterfall at the end of one of these OC waterfall hikes. Holy Jim Waterfall Hike This probably the most popular waterfall hike in Orange County. The hike provides plenty of shade along the way for younger children and isn’t too far to reach the waterfall. The only downside is that the waterfall is usually just a small trickle of water coming down the rocks. Getting to the start of the hike can be a challenge because the road is extremely bumpy but it is worth it. Falls Canyon Falls This waterfall was one...

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Best Beach Parks in the OC

Posted by on Jul 13, 2016 in Cool Places, Family, Featured, Parks | 0 comments

Sponsored Orange County is home to some of the most beautiful beaches, hiking trails, and parks in Southern California. During the summer, families are often spotted spending time with their children at one of the best beach parks in the OC. I teamed up with Expedia.com for its #SoCalSummer series to share some of the best beach parks in the OC. Bring along your beach gear and get ready to have an unforgettable summer day at one of these exclusive OC beach parks. Marina Park This park is often referred to by locals at Lighthouse Park because of the giant lighthouse slide in the center of the park. It is located right in the heart of Newport Beach on the Peninsula and is also the newest beach park built in Orange County. The park features plenty of grass for...

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Escape from Reality

Posted by on Jul 12, 2016 in Cool Places, Family | 0 comments

We visited as a guest of the venue Even in the midst of a busy day at home with all of the chores that surround you, sometimes you wish you could just escape the reality of it all. Well…you can! The Escape Key Entertainment presents an opportunity for you to go on an adventure through different “game rooms” where you truly experience a mystery all its own. Each mystery presents different obstacles that you solve with the help of your date, by yourself or with 5 friends. There are a variety of rooms that are available at Escape Key Entertainment. The various rooms available at this location are the casino room,and what we experienced, the mystery of Senator Payne. Our journey started off while watching an introduction video about our mystery. Then with a walk up the stairs, you...

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A Day at the Races: Santa Anita Park

Posted by on Apr 6, 2016 in Cool Places, Events | 0 comments

We attended as a guest of the venue We were recently invited to enjoy a day at Santa Anita Park and take in this iconic location in Arcadia. As visitors who had never visited a racetrack, we were intrigued and excited to learn more about the gorgeous park both past and present. Upon our arrival, we immediately notice the beautiful Art Deco design of the surrounding structures and the track; as we are greeted at the Club House. We’re in heaven as this is one of our favorite era’s! The recent $40 million renovation has us feeling as if we are stepping back in time for an elegant afternoon watching the races and meeting up with friends and family. A wonderful observation of the patron’s in attendance, they have fun and take the time to get dressed up and...

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The World’s Largest Treehouse at Bravo Farms

Posted by on Feb 18, 2016 in Cool Places, Road Trips, Yosemite | 1 comment

While on our way to Yosemite National Park, we had to make many stops along the way. While on one of our stops along the freeway, we discovered the world famous seven story treehouse at Bravo Farms in Traver. It was one of the most exciting discoveries while on our adventure, and one of the neatest places to explore while on your way to visiting Yosemite. We could have spent all day at Bravo Farms, and had trouble getting the kids to leave. There are nicknacks galore and so many neat little things to discover. The world’s tallest treehouse is the highlight of visiting Bravo Farms. It is seven stories, and I even had fun climbing up the small wooden staircase to the top of the massive treehouse. Playing in the treehouse is free, however, a donation is greatly...

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Frozen Bananas and Balboa Bar at Dad’s Donuts

Posted by on Feb 11, 2016 in Cool Places, Dining | 0 comments

When the weather starts to get warm, our favorite thing to do is head down to Balboa Island for a famous frozen banana or Balboa bar at Dad’s Donuts. I’ve been getting a frozen banana from Dad’s since I was a little kid, and now I get to share this special tradition with my children. It’s not just the frozen bananas and Balboa bars that make Dad’s so popular, but also their famous hippo cookies. These cookies have been an icon of Balboa Island for many years, and a favorite to all locals. I don’t know what they put into these cookies, but the minute that you sink your taste buds into them, it feels like childhood again. On hot days, like we have been having recently, there is usually a good sized line to get a refreshing sweet...

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Jeffrey Stein Children’s Music Garden at Alta Vista Gardens

Posted by on Feb 8, 2016 in Cool Places, Featured, Parks, San Diego, Travel | 0 comments

The Jeffrey Stein Children’s Music Garden at Alta Vista Gardens is one of the most magical places on earth. While I was coming home from a mother/daughter getaway in San Diego, my daughter had mentioned that she read about this park online, and wanted to visit it. I was so excited that she was researching parks that she wanted to visit so we stopped while on our way home from San Diego. The minute that I stepped out of the car, I was in awe. It is a park that you’ll want to spend the entire day at with your children. Just like visiting Legoland or the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, you’ll have enough to keep your kids occupied for an entire afternoon at the Alta Vista Gardens – so pack a lunch and get ready to explore....

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Back Bay Science Center in Newport Beach

Posted by on Jan 31, 2016 in Cool Places, Featured | 0 comments

Every time we go bike riding around Back Bay, I am reminded of how much I have wanted to take the kids to the Back Bay Science Center in Newport Beach. The science center is only open on select days because it is a facility that is used to do research in the waters surrounding our community. I had planned to visit the science center this morning, and then when it started to rain, I didn’t let it stop us, so we drove over for some education and fun. The cold weather kept everyone away which meant that our kids had the entire staff of scientist and volunteers there to give them an incredibly enriching morning. The staff gave them a personal tour of the facility and talked to them about all the different animals, organisms and more. They...

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Balboa Island Museum

Posted by on Jan 31, 2016 in Cool Places, Featured, Museums | 0 comments

Many years of my childhood was spent riding my bike around Balboa Island. Many of my friends lived on the island when I was a child, and for a long time, we were just a short boat ride away on Lido Island. I love bringing my kids back to Balboa Island, and this past week, we took the time to explore the Balboa Island Museum. The museum is in a historic home that is loaded with history from the island. When we first arrived, we were greeted by a volunteer and a historian who talked to us about the different artifacts within the museum. The tiny house that has been transformed into the museum is full of rich history of Balboa Island, and most of the artifacts/images were donated by locals on the island. The kids spent almost an...

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U-Pick Oranges at La Verne Heritage Foundation

Posted by on Jan 30, 2016 in Best of OC, Cool Places, Featured, Health | 0 comments

It’s Orange Season!! Since we love Orange County, we couldn’t miss taking the kids orange picking this weekend in La Verne. It is just about an hour drive out of Orange County, and worth every moment creating memories in the u-pick oranges grove preserved by the La Verne Heritage Foundation. The u-pick orange grove is open to the public on Saturdays (during the season) from 9 am to 3 pm. The cost is just $5 a bag, and my two kids spent hours frolicking around the groves while trying to find the perfect oranges to bring home. Before we got started, we were able to enjoy a complimentary tour of the famous Weber House. The tours are available on Saturdays from 10 am to 1 pm. The Weber House is one of the oldest houses in La Verne that...

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Queen Califia’s Magical Circle ‘Beetlejuice Park’ in Escondido

Posted by on Jan 30, 2016 in Cool Places, Parks, San Diego | 0 comments

After visiting Grape Day Park with the kids earlier this month, one of our readers mentioned that we need to visit Queen Califia’s Magical Circle in Kit Carson Park in Escondido. The park was just a short drive away from Grape Day Park and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and ever since we were told about it, we couldn’t wait to make a drive to Escondido to see it. The park looks like something right out of the movie “Beetlejuice”, and my kids immediately nicknamed Queen Califia’s Magical Circle, Beetlejuice Park. The morning that we planned to visit, unfortunately, the park was closed. My kids were slightly devastated, but they still got an opportunity to see the park through the cracks in the fence. It is only open on the second Saturday of the month from 10 am...

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The Broad Art Museum in Los Angeles

Posted by on Jan 26, 2016 in Cool Places, Featured, Museums | 0 comments

I love art, but I love sharing my love for art with my children even more. Whenever we have time to getaway to LA for the day, we usually end up at one of the local art museums with The Broad Museum being one of my all-time favorites. Ever since The Broad opened in February of last year, families from all over the Southland have been eager to tickets. Tickets have been sold out for months, but I wasn’t going to let that stop us from getting a chance to experience it over winter break. What many people don’t know is that they do have a standby line for guests who do not have an advanced ticket. Unfortunately, the line is often 2-3 hours long, which is not easy for parents with younger children to bear. Even with my...

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Tour the Original In-N-Out in Baldwin Park

Posted by on Jan 24, 2016 in Cool Places, Featured, Museums | 1 comment

In-N-Out is a staple for OC Natives. We have grown-up eating their famous burgers, and all have our favorite “off the menu” In-N-Out creation. In-N-Out first opened their doors in Baldwin Park, and while the original sign does still stand, they have created a replica of the original In-N-Out that your family can tour for free! While it is a replica, it is where the original In-N-Out did once stand. During the holiday break, I took the kids up to Baldwin Park to tour the replica. Unfortunately, it was closed on the day that we went to visit, but that didn’t stop us from looking at it through the cracks of the gate. The replica is super cool, and every In-N-Out fan should plan a visit. Everything in the replica is just like the original, and it stands next...

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Hidden Orange County Waterfall Hike – Falls Canyon Falls

Posted by on Jan 23, 2016 in Cool Places, Hiking Trails | 9 comments

There are two things that I love in life. Sea caves and waterfalls. Over the summer, we shared many different places to discover hidden sea caves, and this winter we are excited to share different hidden waterfalls. I have always wanted to find the hidden waterfall in Orange County, Falls Canyon Falls, but was never successful at finding it until recently. I followed directions from many people online – and every set of directions that we had read took us to a dead end (especially the instructions on Yelp). I was so committed to finding it this year, that I hiked almost eight miles, got a severe case of poison oak, and discovered many hidden graves. Just when I thought we were not going to find it and was about to head home, I saw a little girl coming...

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Visit a Real Oasis Camel Dairy Farm in San Diego

Posted by on Jan 22, 2016 in Cool Places, San Diego | 0 comments

The Oasis Camel Dairy Farm has been on my bucket list to visit for many years. It is only open to the public on select days, and the days that they are open have usually conflicted with our kids busy weekend schedules. This past weekend, we finally had a day free when the farm was open, so we planned a visit along with our kids grandparents. The drive took a little longer than we had anticipated. The farm was almost as far as Julian but was well worth the long drive. They are open to the public starting at 1 pm and the show is at 1:30 pm. We arrived just in time for the show, and so glad that we did not miss it; it was one of the biggest highlights of our visit. We had paid the...

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The Columbia Memorial Space Center

Posted by on Jan 6, 2016 in Cool Places, Family, Featured | 0 comments

Did you know that the city of Downey has a space museum?  I didn’t but I’m sure glad I found out about it.  Nestled between Kaiser Hospital Downey and the Downey Landing shopping center lies The Columbia Memorial Space Center.  You can’t miss its unique design or the space rocket up in front surrounded by planets, and the Columbia Memorial Space Center is going to be one of your families favorite places for exploring and learning about space. Why would such a museum be in Downey instead of Los Angeles? The site of the museum is the former Boeing/Rockwell/North American plant where all of the Apollo Command/Service Modules were built and were the Space Shuttle was conceived. Downey’s rich aerospace history dates back to World War II when Vultee Aircraft set up shop in Downey and produced 15% of all...

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Exploring La Jolla Sea Caves with Everyday California

Posted by on Sep 6, 2015 in Cool Places, San Diego, Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

We visited as a guest of the venue After visiting the Holy Jim Cave in La Jolla last month, I couldn’t wait to plan a return visit to explore the La Jolla sea caves via the water. The one company that stood out to me amongst the others in the area was Everyday California. They share the same passion for preserving the ocean sealife and educating the community on the importance of our eco-system. We reserved our tickets in advance and stayed the night in La Jolla at the La Valencia. It was the perfect Mother/Daughter staycation overnight getaway. After a relaxing night in La Jolla, we woke up early in the morning and had breakfast at the Shorehouse Kitchen, which is directly next door to Everyday California. After my daughter and I had enjoyed a delicious breakfast, we...

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Goathill Junction Railroad

Posted by on Jan 20, 2013 in Cool Places, Costa Mesa, Parks | 0 comments

Tucked away in the beautiful terrain just behind the Costa Mesa golf course lies one of Orange County’s best kept secrets: Goathill Junction Railroad. These model trains run on 5 miles of track and wind through the scenic park. The trains are small and represent 1 1/2″, 2 1/2″ and 3 1/2″ scale equipment. The seats are carpeted and you simply straddle the train like you’re sitting on a horse. There are no seat belts, so hold on to your child although the trains do not go very fast. Not only are these mini trains fun to ride on but they are FREE! They are are operated by Orange County Model Engineers Inc. so although they are free, donations are welcome and they help keep the trains running. Public rides are conducted on the third Saturday and following Sunday...

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